Table of Contents

Abstract

Introduction

Study Guide Design

Study Guide Features

Student Response

Conclusions

Future Work

References

Acknowledgements

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CHEMCONF '98

Design Considerations

  1. Campus Computers
  2. Computer Literacy Expectations


Campus Computers

The availability of reliable access to a network of computers was crucial to the project. BCIT provided this infrastructure of network computers. A server computer that is connected to the Internet 24-hours a day was selected to be the home for the web page files for the study guide. For the duration of the course, BCIT provided students with free access to the Internet on campus. Computer labs were available to students 7 days a week. In addition to the facilities provided on campus, some students have access to the Internet through subscribing to an Internet Service Provider.

Computers that were available to students on campus were 486/66 or Pentium/75 *. The operating systems were Windows 3.1 for the 486 computers and Win95 for the Pentium computers. Students who had computers at home also varied from 486 computers running on Windows 3.1 to Pentium computers running on Win95. Nevertheless, one point to keep in mind is that for the home users of the study guide, they were all limited to the speed of the dial-up modem, which was 28.8 kbps at best. As a result, graphics were kept to a minimum, and mainly for the purpose of:

  1. making the site pleasing to the users,
  2. illustrating concepts visually.

* Recently all the computer labs on campus have been upgraded to Pentium/166 workstations running on Win95.

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Computer Literacy Expectations

The CHEM 0010 Web-based study guide is intended for use as a tool to supplement face-to-face instruction. It is expected that students who enroll in CHEM 0010 will have computer knowledge varying from the tentative novices to expert power users. In order for everyone to be comfortable with the new technology, the study guide was developed with no expectation of students having prior computer training.

With this assumption, each term begins with a lecture period devoted for giving basic instructions for students to log on to the campus computers, open up and use the Web browser to navigate and explore the study guide. Information in the study guide is presented in a narrative tone, organized in logical units such that it is intuitive for students to pursue their interests by clicking on the hyperlinks.


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Author: Rosamaria Fong
British Columbia Institute of Technology
Chemistry Department
Burnaby, BC V5G 3H2
rfong@bcit.bc.ca